Pain Management in Knoxville, TN
Hip pain is a common medical complaint that impairs the patients’ daily activities and affects their quality of life. According to a 2020 review published in the Journal of Anaesthesiology Clinical Pharmacology, 10% of the general population suffer from pain in their hip, and the risk further increases with age. In this article, we will take a look at the common causes of and explore options for hip pain treatment in Knoxville.
What are the causes of hip pain?
Hip pain is defined as pain in and around the hip joint – a strong and stable ball-and-socket joint that connects the thighbone to the pelvis. The hip joint is supported by muscles and ligaments that keep it stable and help it move. The bones of the joint are lined with cartilage that protects them from rubbing together and surrounded by a connective tissue, called synovium, that lubricates it.
There are many possible causes of hip pain. Let’s discuss some of the more common ones below:
Strains, sprains, and tears
Injuries from falls, exercise, and car accidents can lead to overstretching of the hip muscles and ligaments causing strains, sprains, and tears. People that play sports with repetitive high-impact movements, such as ice hockey, football, or soccer, have a higher risk of developing labral tears – tears in the lining of the socket part of the hip joint.
Bursae are small fluid-filled pouches that cushion and lubricate the joint. Trochanteric bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa at the top of the hip, usually caused by an injury or infection. The symptoms of hip bursitis include pain at the top of the thigh bone, redness, and swelling. This condition is quite common and can often become chronic.
Tendons are strong cord-like structures that connect the muscles to the bones. Excessive exercise or repetitive motion can cause damage and inflammation in the tendons, a condition known as tendonitis. Hip tendonitis usually affects the iliopsoas tendon that helps bend your leg upward.
Arthritis is a group of chronic conditions that cause pain and inflammation in the joints. The most common form of arthritis that affects the hip is osteoarthritis – a degenerative disorder that breaks down the cartilage within the joint and causes pain and stiffness. Other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, can also cause pain in the hip.
Hip fractures after a fall are fairly common, especially in older people with osteoporosis (a condition that weakens bones). A hip fracture causes acute pain and inability to stand or move the upper leg. Surgery is often required to fix the fracture.
Paget’s disease disrupts the process of bone development and renewal, causing weakness and abnormalities in the bones. It usually affects the pelvis and can result in hip pain.
Hip dysplasia is a disorder that causes abnormal development of the hip joint. In hip dysplasia, the ball of the joint does not properly fit in the socket. The condition is usually present at birth and, if not treated, can cause pain later in life from the degenerative changes in the joint due to misalignment.
Sometimes pain from disorders in other parts of the body can be felt in the hip. This phenomenon is called referred pain. Conditions such as lumbar radiculopathy and sciatica (pinched nerve root in the lower back), piriformis syndrome (pinched nerve in the buttock), and sacroiliac joint pain (inflammation of the joint between the pelvis and the lower spine) can all cause hip pain.
How is the root cause diagnosed?
Diagnosis of the underlying cause of hip pain consists of the patient’s medical history, a detailed description of the symptoms, and a physical examination. During the exam, a Knoxville hip pain doctor will assess the range of motion and look for tenderness or structural abnormalities in the hip joint.
Pinpointing the location of the pain can be a helpful way to narrow down the diagnosis. Pain on the inside of the hip or in the groin is likely to be caused by a problem in the joint itself, whereas pain on the outside of the hip, thigh, or buttock tends to be caused by issues with muscles, ligaments, and tendons around the joint.
In some cases, imaging tests might be used to confirm or rule out certain conditions. The tests may include X-rays that show the structure of the bones, CT scans that can help identify issues with the shape of the joint, and MRI scans that provide images of the soft tissues, such as muscles and tendons.
How is hip pain treated?
Many cases of hip pain can be treated with pain management techniques, such as:
- Over-the-counter painkillers, for example, Ibuprofen or Naproxen
- Physical therapy, such as gentle stretching and strengthening exercises
- Steroid injections that reduce inflammation and provide pain relief by delivering a local anesthetic combined with a corticosteroid directly to the painful area of the hip
- Hyaluronic acid injections that provide natural lubrication to the joint reducing friction and stiffness
- Platelet rich plasma injections that use the body’s own healing proteins to facilitate tissue regeneration and recovery
Paget’s disease can be treated with bisphosphonates – medications that slow down bone loss.
Surgery might be recommended for hip fractures, hip arthritis, and malformation of the hip. The procedure for hip fraction uses rods and plates to stabilize the joint and keep the bones in place. The conditions where the damage to the joint is severe might require a partial or total hip replacement. Hip replacement operations have a very high success level and are performed on almost half a million Americans every year.
There is a multitude of medical conditions that can cause hip pain when walking, climbing stairs, standing, or sitting. These conditions can be debilitating, affecting the patient’s daily life. If you have pain in your hip that is not improving, you might need to book a consultation with an orthopedic specialist, who will be able to diagnose the underlying cause of the pain and suggest suitable treatment to relieve your symptoms.
Hip Pain Treatment in Knoxville, TN
Omega Pain Management is a recognized pain clinic in Knoxville, TN, under Igor Smelyansky, MD, that prides itself on offering the highest quality care for patients dealing with hip pain. Their multi-factorial approach in creating the most effective pain management plan for you yields many satisfied clients. Dr. Igor Smelyansky is the only doctor that’s ABMS double board-certified in both Neurology and Interventional Pain Management in the Knoxville area!
If you are experiencing pain in your hip, take the first step to finding your solution. Call 865-337-5137 today! Start living pain-free!
Ahuja V, Thapa D, Patial S, Chander A, Ahuja A. Chronic hip pain in adults: Current knowledge and future prospective. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Oct-Dec;36(4):450-457. doi: 10.4103/joacp.JOACP_170_19. Epub 2020 Sep 26. PMID: 33840922; PMCID: PMC8022067.